Chapter 10 : Regulation of Pneumococcal Surface Proteins and Capsule

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Vaccination represents the best prospect for managing pneumococcal disease in the 21st century. Polyvalent purified capsular polysaccharide (CPS) vaccines introduced in the 1980s confer strictly serotype-specific protection and are poorly immunogenic in young children. Consequently, current global efforts are now focused on accelerating the development of alternative pneumococcal vaccines based on proteins that contribute to pathogenesis and are common to all serotypes. Bioinformatic analysis suggests that catabolite control protein A (CcpA) can potentially regulate expression of other pneumococcal surface proteins, including StrH (an N-acetylglucosaminidase), GlpO (alpha-glycerophosphate oxidase), and MalX (a maltose/maltodextrin ABC transporter). The majority of CPS serotypes are highly charged at physiological pH, and electrostatic repulsion may directly interfere with interactions with phagocytes. The prospect of developing vaccines targeted at pneumococcal surface proteins increases the importance of understanding their role in pathogenesis, their relative expression levels in various host compartments, and the mechanism(s) whereby their expression in vivo is regulated. Current knowledge on regulatory mechanisms operating on various classes of pneumococcal surface proteins is provided in this chapter. is a highly successful, human-adapted pathogen, responsible for more than a million deaths each year. The complexity of these regulatory networks makes the task of identifying the principal determinants of virulence gene expression a challenging one. Nevertheless, a thorough dissection of the critical regulatory pathways employed by in discrete in vivo niches will undoubtedly provide an improved understanding of pneumococcal pathogenesis and possibly identify novel targets for intervention.

Citation: Ogunniyi A, Paton J. 2013. Regulation of Pneumococcal Surface Proteins and Capsule, p 190-208. In Vasil M, Darwin A (ed), Regulation of Bacterial Virulence. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818524.ch10
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Figure 1

Simple schematic representation of multiple regulatory circuits impacting expression of surface proteins of . Selected surface proteins are shown in purple, and their respective or putative regulators are depicted in green. Positive regulation is shown by black arrows, while negative regulation (repression) is indicated in red. doi:10.1128/9781555818524.ch10f1

Citation: Ogunniyi A, Paton J. 2013. Regulation of Pneumococcal Surface Proteins and Capsule, p 190-208. In Vasil M, Darwin A (ed), Regulation of Bacterial Virulence. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818524.ch10
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Table 1

Pneumococcal TCSTSs and their roles in virulence

Citation: Ogunniyi A, Paton J. 2013. Regulation of Pneumococcal Surface Proteins and Capsule, p 190-208. In Vasil M, Darwin A (ed), Regulation of Bacterial Virulence. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818524.ch10
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Table 2

Pneumococcal surface proteins and their known or putative regulators

Citation: Ogunniyi A, Paton J. 2013. Regulation of Pneumococcal Surface Proteins and Capsule, p 190-208. In Vasil M, Darwin A (ed), Regulation of Bacterial Virulence. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818524.ch10

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